Ticks can be found in just about anyone's yard and during spring and summer, you should be very wary of these insects. Ticks can bite you, and they can bite your dog or cat as well. If you bring a tick inside on your clothing, the tick can find its way to your pet inside your home. You should know how to spot a tick on your dog or cat and how to prevent the ticks from biting your pet to begin with. Read on for further information to help you.
Signs of Ticks
Ticks are tiny black insects that can be very tiny, usually around 3–5 mm with eight legs. The legs have claws on the ends of them. Ticks can fall from trees or climb on you from wooden structures, or from tall grasses. Ticks will bite and feed off of the blood of their host. They can infect the host with Lyme disease and cause other health issues as well. If you are bitten or you have a tick on your skin, you may be able to spot them easily. With dogs or cats, they can be more difficult to see as they are covered with fur. Some signs of a tick bite or sign of ticks include:
- Ticks moving on the exterior of the fur. They may be laying in the fur or crawling around. Look behind the ears, on the legs or the belly.
- Small lumps that look like skin tags. They may appear skin colored or a little darker in color. This could be ticks full of your pet's blood.
- Red inflamed areas that could be the tick actually burying themselves in your pet's skin.
If you spot any of these signs, it could be a tick. Remove live ticks that flush them down the toilet. Don't attempt to kill the ticks with your bare hands, as you can spread Lyme disease to yourself. If you see ticks that have begun to dig into the pet's body, you can pull the tick out with tweezers. Be sure to remove the entire tick including the head. If you don't remove the entire tick, it can still infect your pet.
Prevent ticks from biting your pet by keeping your lawn trimmed and maintained. Also, be sure to clip back trees and low-hanging branches. Keep your dog on a flea and tick preventative throughout the year to prevent tick and flea bites. Spraying your yard to kill pests can also help.
Ticks can cause a lot of health issues for your pets. Be sure to keep your dog and cat on a flea and tick preventative to prevent tick bites. If you suspect a tick has bitten your dog or cat, get him to the veterinarian right away for treatment.